Kentucky 22-36 — 58
Louisville 18-32 — 50
Top-ranked Kentucky (13-0) overcame a sluggish first half and used suffocating defense to beat No. 4 Louisville (11-1) on Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Cardinals pulled within 35-32 with 8:48 remaining in the game, but the Wildcats used a 15-6 run to pull away and remain unbeaten.
See the final stats and boxscore here.
Louisville’s Jones Flopped From a Phantom Elbow
Louisville’s Chris Jones hit the court in pain from what appeared to be a Dakari Johnson elbow to the face.
Small problem: The elbow didn’t come close to hitting Jones.
Here’s another angle:
Johnson was actually called for an offensive foul on the play.
Kentucky Shot Much Better in The 2nd Half
Both teams struggled mightily to put the ball in the basket in the first half as evidenced by the 22-18 score.
The Wildcats shot 11-for-23 (47.8%) in the second half after a 37% first 20 minutes.
Tyler Ulis led UK with 14 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 10.
Towns, Trey Lyles and Dakari Johnson had 9 rebounds apiece.
Kentucky finished with 18 turnovers compared to just 9 for Louisville.
The Cardinals shot just 6-for-28 in the first half (21.4%), but picked it up a bit in the second half going 9 of 30 (30%). Terry Rozier’s 15 points paced UL, while Chris Jones had 13 and Wayne Blackshear 10.
Rozier and Montrezl Harrell had 8 rebounds each.
Amazingly, Louisville had just 1 assist the entire game. It was recorded by Chris Jones with 11:11 left in the first half.
Tyler Ulis Took an Elbow to The Head And Had to Leave The Game, But Then Returned
With 4:41 remaining in the first half, Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis caught an unintentional elbow which caused a bloody gash above his eye.
He had to be taken back to the locker room, but he returned to the bench with just under 4 minutes left in the half.
Ulis re-entered the game with 2:50 remaining with two bandages above his right eye.
Both Offenses Were Struggling
By the time the 3rd official timeout came with 7:44 remaining in the first half, both teams seemingly couldn’t buy a basket.
Kentucky was 6-for-18 with 7 turnovers.
Louisville was 4-for-16, including 1 of 4 from 3-point range.
Kentucky Went Cold
After taking a 10-6 lead at the 15:13 mark, Kentucky was held scoreless until the next TV timeout, a span of 4:28.
Montrezl Harrell made his presence felt on the defensive end for Louisville (see above clip), which had 4 turnovers in the 4-plus minutes.
Preview: No. 1 Kentucky And No. 4 Louisville Get Set For Bluegrass State Showdown
It’s a taste of the Final Four in December.
At least the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville is going to have that vibe.
When 12-0 and top-ranked Kentucky travels the 1 hour and 20 minutes to Louisville to meet the unbeaten, 4th-ranked Cardinals (11-0), Bluegrass State bragging rights are on the line.